Confused newbie - surprised? (expert advise please)

Long time reader, first time poster.

My Story -
Getting ready to start REI and trying to decide what path to take and how to get going. Purchased a home for 70k 8 years ago, recently have seen similar homes going for 244K+. Did a refi and added cars to the mortgage which brings it to 135k I owe on the home. With doing the refi I will see an extra 1300 a month cash flow. Credit score is at 740. Have no cash saved up for REI and will be a licensed Real Estate Agent by XMas.

Like the idea of picking up Lis Pendes single family homes and selling for in the fast cash flow. Wife is out of work for a bit to be with our new born daughter. My goal though is to replace her income so she can be a stay at home mother for our daughter. Within 5 years I would like to have replaced both of our incomes. Imagine renting properties will need to be in the plan as well.

Flipping a property the fastest cash builder?
Is it worth buying a property at 100% finance or should you put money down?
Which is better - Single family homes or multiunit for rentals?
How do you pick the right deals as to not lose your butt?
Can working with a property management group bring you good deals?
How can you find a location that pays good rent but the buildings are relatively cheap?
Can this be done with nothing out of pocket?
A mortgage broker told me that he can get me loans for any property I want without income verification, is this advisable?
Yes, I have the jitters.

Confused on how to get started. I know there is some risk - but don’t want to lose the cow while trying to get milk.


Noble ideals regarding allowing your wife to be a stay-at-home mom. Went that route myself with much sacrifice but was worth it. Regarding the rest of your post you have evidently been reading but not digesting or learning. Reread some more. All your questions are answered in all the newsgroups forums. With your jitters perhaps you should so some birddogging to get your feet wet and to help decide what niche you want to deal in. Your credit score will allow you to do a lot of things. Your history of refi with adding cars to the mortgage (?) indicates to me you are not thinking like an investor (i.e. investing in depreciable assests). Nonetheless, study more, learn more, choose wisely and then go for it.

Rhm76384 - Have to agree that adding the cars to the loan was not the best thing.

Determining if we will keep the house more then 3 years. Should we keep the property, rent in the area is going for 1200 to 1475 a month, and the thought is to let the sale or the renting pay for our cars and the house. This way we can free up the cash flow and invest it. Not that I like adding depreciable assests to the mortgage, but it was a call we felt comfortable with. Liek the idea that we can toss money at the principal and pay off the portion added by the cars in half the time it would have taken. More debt free, less time.

Been reading some books besides just the forums here and the mix has been very insightful. Made contacts with the local REI Club and plan to start atteding next month.

One of the books I have been reading is: “What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow…And 36 Other Key FInancial Measures: Guidelines, Formulas, and Rules of Thumb for Making Money in Real Estate”

To me this seems to be a numbers game.

Hard to determine which is the best path. Thanks for your thoughts.

You asked should you put money down or not. If you are going to buy, fix up and sell, don’t put any of your money down. If you are going to buy and rent out, don’t put any of your money down. If you are looking for what property to buy, MY rule of thumb is buy a house that will be 90% of the actual comps in that area including purchase and fix up costs. If it is in an area that rents well (less than 1 month), and cash flows at least $200 per month. I will rent it out, unless the acquisition plus fix up cost is 80% of the fixed up value and the houses in that area sell within 65 days then I would sell it. I don’t know where you live and your calculus may be different. If is different for people on the other side of town from me much less the other side of the country.